Since 2006, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has maintained a presence in Côte d’Ivoire, primarily focused on providing technical advice and support to the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), facilitating stakeholder communication, and engaging Ivoirian citizens in the electoral process. Following the jarring post-election violence in 2010, IFES has sought to strengthen citizens’ knowledge of and participation in the electoral process as a means of assisting the country in its efforts to avoid a reoccurrence of such hostilities in both the lead up to, and aftermath of future polls.
Notable activities undertaken through IFES programming include the following:
- An in-depth assessment of the Ivoirian electoral legal and regulatory framework, the results of which have been utilized as a catalyst for inclusive dialogue for discussion on reform measures;
- A study in partnership with Search for Common Ground on the risks of election-related violence for the 2015 electoral season;
- Roundtable series to facilitate dialogue between the CEI, the National Institute of Statistics, international advisers and other relevant stakeholders to discuss voter registration and electoral framework issues;
- Support to the CEI in building the body’s technical capacity, solidifying and articulating to stakeholders its mandate, and strengthening its credibility.
Taken together, IFES’ activities in Côte d’Ivoire ultimately aim to increase the confidence that the candidates and citizenry alike place in the administration of the electoral process, so as to ensure that the outcome of future polls are perceived to be legitimate and, thus, acceptable, and that the potential for violence is mitigated.